The announcement by South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford that the “mystery” about his whereabouts stemmed from him being in Argentina conducting an extramarital affair will likely end his political career — and not just because he had an affair. There are two other specific factors that will make him a dream for any Democrat at any level to run against at any point in his life:

1. He was away having his fling on Father’s Day. His emotional press conference where he talked about letting his family down didn’t note the timing. One bad choice of several on his part.

2. He was a key figure in saying he would reject the stimulus money and was basically forced to accept it. Sanford was praised among some GOPers for originally saying he would reject the money on principle. But here, again, the affair now puts his assertion in the worst possible light:

The stimulus money would have filtered down to people who needed it — whether homeowners battling foreclosure, or funding that touched on families and kids. And where did Sanford go? Not to Georgia…Florida….or even Oregon. He hopped on a plane to Argentina — a hugely-costly airfare…money spent at a time when many residents of his state were wondering how they would survive, and he was a key Republican saying he would reject on principle money that might have helped them.

A blogger at the Daily Kos wonders if stimulus money may have indirectly paid for his trip to see his mistress — if so, the money would have been put to use for a form of stimulus, to be sure. But the accuracy of that remains to be seen.

The bottom line is that imagery counts in politics and it’s hard to see Sanford having any kind of elected political future in his state or the nation due to the dual images of running off to Argentina for a fling and being there on Father’s Day and originally nixing stimulus money for residents of his state who needed it and then spending a bundle to fly to Argentina.

And if it was somehow not his own money? Then he’ll be moving to a new address real soon.

FOOTNOTE:
The one Republican who seems to be pristine (as other top potential candidates for 2012 get bad publicity, put their foots in their mouths or battle late night comedians) is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Sometimes a lower profile is better.

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 3 months ago
I am SO confused. I thought a politician’s private life was just that; private and having nothing to do with his political life. That we in America have an unenlightened and unhealthy obsession about sex and marital affairs, and that we need to be more like the French. That having sex with others while in office means just zero about being on being a good leader. That it is not hypocritical to lie about affairs, even under oath. Heck, lying under oath about affairs is OK, in fact. I swear I heard that somewhere. Oh, wait. My bad. That is… Read more »
ChrisWWW
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

AR,
I agree Sanford’s private life should be private, and having an affair should not disqualify you from office (assuming he didn’t use public money, or breach the public trust in some other way in pursuing the affair). But since he is a public opponent of gay marriage and other gay rights, Sanford has forfeited any moral claim that we should just ignore his private conduct.

AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 3 months ago

ChrisWWW – I actually agree he deserves to be toast. I am just railing against the non-stop double standards toward politician’s peccadilloes, particularly from the Left.

Rambie
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Rambie
7 years 2 months ago

It’s not the affair AR, it’s the hypocrisy.

hecheated
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hecheated
7 years 2 months ago

It’s the affair.

pacatrue
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pacatrue
7 years 3 months ago

I agree that it isn’t having an affair which bugs me. (In other comment trails, I’ve “defended” Ensign for instance). What does appear to bug me is the almost dereliction of duty in order to go have this affair.

shannonlee
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shannonlee
7 years 3 months ago

Hmm…well…it isn’t about sex. It is about hypocrisy. If people found out that Rep Barney Frank was having sex with a man, no one would care. Now if Barney had based his entire career fighting against gay rights, well then that would be a different story.

Sanford was Mr. Moral Majority. A leader in the social conservative movement. Someone who took pride in fighting against “science” by trying to block research funding to his own state.

Bye Bye Sanford.

StockBoySF
Guest
StockBoySF
7 years 3 months ago
I agree that a politician’s private life should be private. But wouldn’t Republicans, whose base is the religious right who espouses family values be seen as hypocrites? How can the GOP fight for family values, especially claiming the sanctity of marriage (to the extent of taking away marriage roghts of others) when their own leader (as a gov. and mentioned as a potential prez. nominee in 2012) not believe in those values themselves? Doesn’t give the GOP much credibility. At any rate, this is a trying time for Sanford and his family. I won’t comment on whether he should step… Read more »
StockBoySF
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StockBoySF
7 years 3 months ago

^ I wrote my above comment while others were writing theirs. I see some of my points were covered. Didn’t mean to duplicate- comments just crossed.

TheFrequentPoster
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TheFrequentPoster
7 years 3 months ago

People are always going to be interested in the private lives of public figures. It shouldn’t be a political issue, and I don’t think it would be if the Republicans hadn’t built their political identity on “family values” and the “sanctity of marriage.” Blatant hypocrisy is ALWAYS a political issue. The day it isn’t a political issue is the day we really have to worry.

AustinRoth
Guest
AustinRoth
7 years 3 months ago
So, if Clinton had run in part on being a supporter of women’s rights, then he would have been critisized for taking advantage of his office with a young intern? Hmmm. Nope. Don’t buy it. I guess the real message is if you are a Democrat, you are saying morals do not matter, so you can screw anything that moves, anytime, anyplace, lie about it to your wife, to your family, to the country, to the courts, to Congress, to the press, and you have not violated the trust of the voters. Man, that is SO DAMN COOL! I think… Read more »
TheFrequentPoster
Guest
TheFrequentPoster
7 years 3 months ago

AustinRoth, it must drive you crazy with jealousy to see a popular Democratic president who’s had one marriage to a woman he obviously loves deeply, and two beautiful daughters. Meanwhile, the crazy Bible-flingin’ Baptists who run the Republican Party just happen to have the nation’s highest divorce rates. If you want family values, come over to our side! Ha ha ha ha!

AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 2 months ago

FP – I assume you meant ‘Republican President’, and were referring to George W. Bush!

archangel
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archangel
7 years 3 months ago
Hi, Dr. E. here, I’m not Mom, just an Assistant Editor at TMV with a reminder to commenters… Please dont shoot the messenger… but also, please do read or reread the TMV comment policy if in doubt about our rules and policies for civil commenting. Our commenters are asked –to stick to the basic topic in the article, –with no ad hominen attacks on the writer or other commenters. –This includes no high-jacking of the thread, no vulgarities, and no posting of long articles in respons… –however you are welcome to leave links to those articles in comments as usual.… Read more »
AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 2 months ago

Dr E – I hope you were not referring to my use of the word ‘screw’ or ‘damn’. This is not a web site for grade schoolers.

tidbits
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tidbits
7 years 3 months ago
If our political leaders are getting laid this much, shouldn’t they be a little more relaxed and a little less uptight? Maybe if they’d get the hell out our private lives, we’d be a little less concerned about theirs. Serious point here. Could it be that there is a relationship between politicians wanting to tell citizens what to do in their private lives and citizens taking pleasure in the private failings of those leaders? Make no mistake. This finger points at both sides, the religious “let’s legislate our version of the Bible” right and the PC “let’s legislate our version… Read more »
TheFrequentPoster
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TheFrequentPoster
7 years 3 months ago
I do think all of this winds up helping Romney, but he’s going to face a huge obstacle within the Republican Party: his religion. It’s little noticed by the media that the Baptists, who control much of the Republican Party, especially at the grass roots, are quite fiercely anti-Mormon. In ’08, Huckabee was, in reality, a last-minute Baptist evangelical anti-Mormon spoiler. Huckabee took out Romney, and that cleared the way for McCain, who was obliged to put an evangelical nutcase on the ticket as a sop to the Baptist lunatics. The same thing will happen in 2012, so if I… Read more »
checkersspeech
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

The good new for the Republican Party: At least this one was with a WOMAN! Ha ha ha ha haaaaa!!!!

But yeah, how these politicians think they can have an affair without anybody being nosy …

Like John Edwards: Did he not realize that while he’s RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, that *everybody* would be actively trying to find dirt on him?

Sheesh. These are the numbskulls that think they’re fit to tell us what to do.

kathykattenburg
Guest
kathykattenburg
7 years 3 months ago
I guess the real message is if you are a Democrat, you are saying morals do not matter, so you can screw anything that moves, anytime, anyplace, lie about it to your wife, to your family, to the country, to the courts, to Congress, to the press, and you have not violated the trust of the voters. AR, Who is saying “morals don’t matter”? Need I remind you that Bill Clinton was impeached, and nearly convicted and thrown out of office? Who is saying “morals don’t matter”? Need I remind you that John Edwards was a candidate for the Democratic… Read more »
lurxst
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lurxst
7 years 2 months ago

Hmm..reading one of Sanford’s emails to his mistress on The State
http://www.thestate.com/sanford/story/839350.html

PG-13 at best, but full of heartache and longing. I wish the hypocrite the best. I feel bad for his wife but its their business to figure out. Horribly embarrassing, not that he is a man and had desire for another woman, but that he was stupid enough, in the modern day, to abandon his responsibilities, possibly abuse state funds and subject his staff and his family to the degradation of covering for him.

Jim_Satterfield
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Jim_Satterfield
7 years 2 months ago

The whole thing seems pretty sad to me. I couldn’t care less if someone from either party has an affair but I do feel bad for their family when it comes to something like this.

TheFrequentPoster
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TheFrequentPoster
7 years 2 months ago

Blame it on the tango! It drives people crazy!

archangel
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archangel
7 years 2 months ago

>>>>>Dr E – I hope you were not referring to my use of the word ‘screw’ or ‘damn’…>>>

you’re fine Austin.
thanks for asking

grade school,
oh AR, I was hoping secretly for at least grad school… just one less letter

I hope that made you laugh…

and in seriousness, we here are still praying for your brave girl. Keeping on.

dr.e

AustinRoth
Guest
AustinRoth
7 years 2 months ago

Dr. E – thanks for remembering my daughter.

Physically, well, it is a slow road to recovery, and nothing can change that. Mentally she is in a great place, which makes us very proud of her.

Now we wait for the military medical board discharge process to run its course before she can come home (likely until September).

archangel
Guest
archangel
7 years 2 months ago

We will keep all of you on the prayer road; and that your girl’s attitude is in a great place… that is the penultimate best! No doubt apple doesnt fall far from the tree.

thank you AR,
dr.e

ThurmanHart
Guest
7 years 2 months ago

I honestly don’t think either the timing of his disappearance or the stimulus fiasco will impact his political future. But his disappearance, for any reason, without anyone knowing where to reach him is a huge issue – not his staff, not his family, not the LT. Gov. knew where to reach him. This was not a case of the Gov. taking some time off where he could be recalled by a quick phone call.

This is dereliction of duty. Period.

DdW
Guest
DdW
7 years 2 months ago
“I guess the real message is if you are a Democrat, you are saying morals do not matter, so you can “screw anything that moves, anytime, anyplace, lie about it to your wife, to your family, to the country, to the courts, to Congress, to the press, and you have not violated the trust of the voters.” No, the real message is that Democrats do “screw anything that moves, anytime, anyplace, lie about it to your wife, to your family, to the country, to the courts, to Congress, to the press,”, juts like Republicans, but they do not go masquerading… Read more »
keelaay
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keelaay
7 years 2 months ago
I don’t follow the accusations above that those speaking against Gov. Sanford’s actions are hypocritical Democrats. My guess is that Gov Sanford has lost the support of South Carolina Republicans and Democrats alike because he recklessly abandoned his office and lied to his staff about his whereabouts in order to travel to Argentina over Father’s Day weekend due to an extra-marital affair. That’s far from some hypocritical moral judgment about adultery, but is a natural reaction to Gov. Sanford’s bizarre failing of the duties of his office. (I won’t argue that the same can’t indeed be said about President Clinton’s… Read more »
TheFrequentPoster
Guest
TheFrequentPoster
7 years 2 months ago

Isn’t it fun to see how the Republicans have to be told over and over that hypocrisy is the problem? Part of me wants them to wise up, but another part of me wants them not to!

sparkles43
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sparkles43
7 years 2 months ago
This is a lot more than just an affair. This man was derelict in his duties for 7 days. He lied to his staff on his where abouts. No one could contact him. He left the country without telling anyone. What if there had been a state emergency? He should at least of told a staff person and the Lt Gov he was out of the country. There is no excuse for this. Now there is question he used state money to visit Argentina a couple of times for his affair. This man should be impeached.
AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 2 months ago
Oooh, it is not the actions that count, it is if there is hypocrisy. So, if Democrats campaign on ‘cleaning up government’, but then have Senators and Congressman with unsavory ties to lobbyists, sweetheart deals on real estate deals and loans, force companies to hire their relatives, send huge amounts of government spending to companies that contribute to them, etc., I can except rightous condemnation of THOSE actions from the Left? You are all correct, btw. It is the hypocrisy. That has been my point from my first post on this thread. The irony is you all fail to see… Read more »
Rambie
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Rambie
7 years 2 months ago
“…I never defended his actions, and said that he deserves to be toast. You all just can’t stand having the mirror held up to yourselves on the Left’s double standrds and own hypocrisy…” I never said you did defend him. What double-standards? This thread isn’t about any Democrat or any other Republican than Gov Sanford and his own personal actions. Let’s not go off on tangents but just to cover your examples: – Clinton didn’t run on a family-values campaign. It wasn’t the BJs in the office it was the lying, not that any of us believed him for a… Read more »
AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 2 months ago

Oops, forgot to add, re: Sanford – if indeed he used State money to fund trips to Argentina to visit his mistress, he deserves more than impeachment. He should be brought up on mis-use of funds and theft by misappropriation charges.

I, unlike many Democrats, do not believe that having an affair means you can break the law and it is OK. :)

DdW
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DdW
7 years 2 months ago

Tony Perkins of “moral values/family values”:

“I think there is somewhat of an identity crisis in the Republican Party. Are they going to be a party that attracts values voters, and are they going to be the party that lives by those values?”

I thought “they” already were

Leonidas
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Leonidas
7 years 2 months ago
He got my vote for being a fiscal conservative, something he still has. He probably wont have the sipport needed to make a presidential or Vice Presidental run now, I agree, because too many people confuse being a good husband with being a good executive. The two don’t always go hand in hand. Clinton was a cheater, bu7t did a pretty good job, Carter was faithful and did a rotten one. I cast my vote for the good exectutive not the good husband. I’ll be casting it again for him if he runs for office, I like his fiscal conservatism.… Read more »
AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 2 months ago

Leo – if it turns out he spent State money for trips to visit Argentina to see his mistress (as seems at this moment more likely than not), will you still support him?

I wouldn’t. I would support criminal charges.

Leonidas
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Leonidas
7 years 2 months ago
If it turns out he spent State money for trips to visit Argentina to see his mistress I would condemn the act, I’d probably still support him though as a couple thousand dollars does not outweigh the benefit of having a fiscal conservative in the Governor’s office who can try to protect us from millions of dollars of more government spending. Now if it turns out that he went for legitimate reasons on the tax payer dollar and saw his mistress when his schedule was not filled with official business, *shrug* Thats his personal business and not mine. I don’t… Read more »
AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 2 months ago

leo – so, even if he broke the law, you will still support him?

Now THAT is partisanship at its very worst, and why democratic governments become corrupt over time.

drewrichards
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drewrichards
7 years 2 months ago
First and foremost, Governor Sanford BROKE the “Chain of Command” in my state (SC) leaving us with NO immediate response capability in the event of an emergency. For this action and this action ALONE he should be impeached! I don’t care that his wife didn’t know where he was or not. I don’t care he had an affair. I do care that his staff either covered for him or did not know how to reach him and he had not released power of authorization to the Lt. Governor as ANY Governor would have if they were going incommunicado. Spin the… Read more »
Leonidas
Guest
Leonidas
7 years 2 months ago
I answered the above post on one of the other threads, but I’ll reply in short form here. Sanford broke no laws. See the NPR piece here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105870672 On the Clinton impeachment, Sanford was concerned about the lying under oath part, ie breaking a law: “The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of Democratic government, representatives government, because it undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything.” [Sanford on Clinton, CNN, 2/16/99] I’ve defended Clinton’s affair on forums myself and Elliot spitzer’s as well. I don’t care… Read more »
PolyTicks21
Guest
PolyTicks21
7 years 2 months ago

The reason guys like Sanford get raked over the coals when they get busted cheating on their wives is becuase they run their campaigns on “GOOD CHRISTIAN VALUES” and completely pan anyone who isn’t as “pure as them” … Sanford is a hypocrite and needs to resign.

The difference with the democrats is that they don’t vehemently play the values card… so it’s a bit easier to forgive someone who’s not pretending to have moral high ground when they get caught being human… get it?

Leonidas
Guest
Leonidas
7 years 2 months ago

AustinRoth,
You asked:
” leo – so, even if he broke the law, you will still support him? ”

then you accuse:
” Now THAT is partisanship at its very worst, and why democratic governments become corrupt over time.”

but you apparently didn’t read what I wrote apparently when I said:
” I’ve defended Clinton’s affair on forums myself and Elliot spitzer’s as well. I don’t care what happens in other people’s bedrooms as long as no laws are broken.”

Reading is fundamental, try it if you can escape your own bias and or partisahip.

You can also apologize for your misplaced accusation if you care to.

Leonidas
Guest
Leonidas
7 years 2 months ago

PolyTicks21,

I have to agree with you when you say that:

“The difference with the democrats is that they don’t vehemently play the values card… so it’s a bit easier to forgive someone who’s not pretending to have moral high ground when they get caught being human…”

Unfortunately democrats find other areas to be hypocritical about. Just look as FISA wiretapping and the way they have conducted Congressional business under the Tom Delay method since taking over power for a good examples.

tarsc
Guest
tarsc
7 years 2 months ago
I have read many post about the right to a private life. While I am a South Carolina resident, it is not simply an “affair to remember” that has even Republicans questioning his leadership capability. 1. Sanford left the state without informing anyone of his location. Who would have known what the chain of command would have been if there was an emergency? While I admit that the last big emergency was a hurricane named HUGO in 1989, you expect your leaders to communicate. Sanford’s Staff and last of all Sanford’s family really did not know where he was at… Read more »
nycnc
Guest
nycnc
7 years 2 months ago

sanford told livingston to resign over his affair ,he said that (livingston lied under a different oath ,an oath to his wife)…..? With that comment and based on the situation sanford is in now ,I think he should also resign ,what make sanford so special that he doesnt have to live by his own word. Mr.Sanford also claimed that states stimulus money would be a waste of tax payers dollars,but not standing by his word when he spent tax payer’s dollars on that trip to cheat on his wife

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